chapter  X
39 Pages

THE NEAR EASTERN QUESTION AND THE POWERS, 1879–1880

WH1LETHEagentsofthepowerswerepursuingtheirexasperating, andveryoftenfutile,effortstoexecutethetreatyprovisionsin AsiaMinor,Constantinople,andtheBalkans,thechancellories werefacingthegraverproblemoftheeffectofthesenegotiations ontheinternationalrelationsofEurope;theconsolidationofthe temporarycombinationsofthewinterof1878-9intomore permanentalliancegroupingsseemedincreasinglyprobableduring thenexttwelvemonths.ThediscomfitureofRussiaduringthe criticalninemonthswhichfollowedtheCongresshadbeenthe resultofherisolationinfaceoftheinformal,buteffective, co-operationofAustria,England,Germany,andFrance(see chap.III);themostseriousphaseofthepost-Congresscrisis appearedtohavepassedinApril1879,withthesignatureofthe Austro-TurkishconventionandtheTsar'sfinalagreementto evacuatethepeninsula,butduringtheensuingautumnandwinter Russia'srelationswithAustriaandEnglandremainedalmostas strainedasbefore.Thiswasdueinparttothefactthat,aswe haveseen(chap.IX),thethreepowersstillfeltitpossibleto gleansomemoreorlessconsiderableadvantagesfromtheir hagglingoverthemanyoutstandingproblemsofthesettlement;itwasalso,undoubtedly,aresultofthemereaftermath oftheorgyofmutualresentmentandsuspicion,andofthenervous excitabilityofpress,governingclasses,andpublic,towhichall thebellicoselanguageandartfuldiplomacyofthepreviousthree yearshadgivenrise.